USS RENTZ, At Sea -- The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Rentz (FFG 46), assigned to U.S. 4th Fleet during the annual UNITAS multinational maritime exercise, conducted replenishment at sea Sept. 11 with the Canadian supply ship HMCS Preserver (AOR 510). UNITAS 2013 includes partner nation forces from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States that are operating off the coast of Colombia to strengthen interoperability, mutual cooperation and the ability to operate as a multinational task force through advanced maritime exercises. The replenishment at sea was part of that training, with a real-world requirement for fuel. From the Preserver, the Rentz took aboard 47,322 gallons of marine diesel fuel.
"The Canadians made everything simple by breaking down the entire process from how to request the fuel replenishment all the way down to making payment and documentation," said Lt. Stephen Mannila, the supply officer aboard Rentz.
HMCS Preserver is a Protecteur-class auxiliary oiler replenishment ship of the Royal Canadian Navy commissioned in 1970. After serving Canada's fleet in domestic and international exercises in the 1980s and 1990s, it underwent a major refit in 2005 and is now home ported in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Boatswains Mate 1st Class Charles Martin, of the Rentz, said this was his first replenishment at sea with an international partner after 11 years in the Navy - and he appreciated the expert seamanship of the Canadian ship. "As we made our approach, they were very professional and obviously knew what they were doing, so as soon as we got alongside and they fired the shot line to us, we started the transfer of fuel," Martin said. "This was an excellent chance for our crew to see what exactly happens during replenishment at sea, especially with a very professional partner navy like Canada," Martin said. After UNITAS concludes on Sept. 15 in Covenas, Colombia, Rentz will deploy to the Eastern Pacific to conduct counter transnational organized crime (C-TOC) operations.
U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) employ maritime forces in cooperative maritime security operations in order to maintain access, enhance interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional security in the U.S. Southern Command Area of Responsibility.